In what was close to a carbon copy of last week, the Saints lost by 8 points largely thanks to poor pass protection and zero defense. Cam Newton torched the pass defense much like RGIII did and the Panthers’ offense rumbled for 219 rushing yards on 41 carries (5.3 yards per carry). The Saints’ defense is really struggling to do anything right at the moment, and it may be time for many of us to come to terms with the fact that this team just won’t be that competitive this season as we were hoping. Right now they are playing like a 5 win team at best. It’s only two games and it’s still early, but the way they’ve played in the first two games would make it tough to beat any teams in the league. Below are my thoughts bullet style on the game.
- The Saints got off to a 7-0 lead thanks to a beautiful opening drive, then got a stop, and things we really looking up. Then Drew Brees threw a horrendous pick six with shades of the Aaron Brooks era and from that point the game completely changed.
- What’s really concerning about this loss is the Saints completely cleaned up the penalties and committed more to the run, with success. It changed nothing. The pass protection was still poor, Brees struggled, and the defense couldn’t come up with any stops. The end result was the exact same.
- Patrick Robinson and Corey White are just not working out right now. Very poor game by both players.
- Malcolm Jenkins is either out of position, or not good enough to be a starter.
- Garrett Hartley was tested with a 53 yard field goal and nailed it on a wet field. That was terrific to see. Too bad his onsides kick attempt was atrocious.
- I can’t stand Steve Smith. Every year the Saints play him and he’s running his mouth, starting fights, and acting like a buffoon. As far as I’m concerned he is in Roddy White territory in terms of dislike.
- Brandon LaFell of LSU has turned into a pretty good receiver, and he made Corey White look stupid.
- David Hawthorne was once again nowhere to be found. That free agent pick up hasn’t panned out so far.
- Pierre Thomas was unbelievable. One of his best games as a Saint. The first tackler never brings him down. His ability to shed tacklers is incredible. He did not give up in this game and he’s a great player on this team.
- The offensive line is just not getting it done in pass protection. The interior line in particular is really struggling.
- The Saints receivers are just not that good right now. Colston couldn’t get any separation, Lance Moore dropped the easiest touchdown pass he’ll ever see, Joe Morgan dropped another gimme, and Roby played very little. That position went from a real strong position of depth to a massive weakness in a hurry. Brees is only throwing to Graham and Sproles at this point. At this point I’m actually open to bringing in a bad attitude has been veteran (enter cliche overhyped name message board guy has been drooling over for weeks).
- The pass rush is non existent. Spags kept sending four rushers and they were stalled at the line the entire game. The few times they blitzed, Corey White was in single coverage and got burned. It’s a lose lose.
- The offense is disappointing so far, no doubt, but the team has given up 75 points in 2 games. You win by outscoring the opponent. I don’t care how good you are offensively, if you give up 37.5 points a game you are not going to win.
Let’s hope for a better defensive showing next week against the anemic Chiefs offense at home. The Chiefs are 0-2 and have given up 75 points as well. Should be fun.